Test Nerves & Exam Stress
Test Nerves are what we might experience when undergoing some sort of test, exam or evaluation of our performance or knowledge.
Almost everybody suffers Test Nerves, or can recall suffering at the thought of having to take a test or exam and although a degree of “Stress” is actually useful (it helps you to focus on the task) when being tested, it is important that your Test Nerves don’t overwhelm you as this can impede your performance.
In almost all cases these Test Nerves are produced as a result of what we call anticipatory anxiety – that is, anxiety CREATED by thinking negatively about what it will be like.
Practical things you can do to reduce Test Nerves
Try to avoid overdoing it with coffee, or other caffeine drinks such as “Coca-Cola” or “Red Bull” before an exam as the caffeine in these drinks acts as a stimulant and can cause an increase in heart rate which actually impedes your ability to think clearly.
You can reduce the effects of the stress that may be contributing to your exam nerves by making sure that you keep active, taking in plenty of oxygen as this can help to dissipate the “spare” Adrenalin that the stress triggers to be released into the bloodstream.
Also, make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep in the period coming up to the exam as your Brain is more likely to be able to assimilate and utilise the knowledge that is stored in there given enough restful sleep.
Learn how to relax by “progressive” muscle relaxation techniques.
This involves working from the top of your head right down to the tips of your toes by sitting back, concentrating for a moment on the muscles, tensing those muscles for a few moments, and then relaxing them as you breathe slowly out.
If you spend 20 minutes or so working your way down your body in your mind, you will find that you become significantly more relaxed.
Why do some people get Test Nerves and not others?
The answer to this question has much to do with your personal experiences and your personality type.
Whilst many people do not suffer Test Nerves, a great many do and when they do it may be characterised as Social Anxiety in that people may feel that they “have to do well” in exams in order to avoid the negative consequences of other people’s criticism.
Often the pressure to succeed can be so ingrained in the early years of character development that anything other than “fantastic” results can be seen as “failure”, even those this may in fact be “self-imposed” and not due to either parental or per pressure.
It should be clear that “making mistakes” is a normal human characteristic and that people CAN make mistakes without being judged upon those mistakes.
What If I Can’t Cope With My Test Nerves?
If none of the techniques we suggest above help to alleviate your test nerves, or you feel that they are so severe that they are impacting on other areas of your life, perhaps in the workplace, then you might consider following our highly effective psychological training course called Tranceformental CBT.
The Programme will help you to fully understand how your particular “thinking styles” and “perceptions” are contributing to the way you feel about Tests or Exams, and then go on to help you develop a set of tools and techniques to cope much more effectively.
Psychological Therapy for Test Nerves
If you’re committed to overcoming your Test Nerves problems then we highly recommend following our Advanced Tranceformental CBT programme with Paul which is available as an Online Therapy as well as a self help CBT course.
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic psychotherapy course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.
Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an empirically supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Alternative Therapy Options for Test Nerves
Although our preferred form of psychotherapy for Test Nerves is Tranceformental CBT we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.
- Psychodynamic therapy which focuses more on emotional problems and relies on the Therapeutic Relationship to bring about change. Available with Paul.
- General Counselling which is less structured but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss issues which is therapeutic in its own right.
- Hypnotherapy is an alternative form of therapy that can be applied to a very wide range of problems and is available with Joan.
Free Initial Consultations for Test Nerves
We offer all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your Test Nerves prior to commencing any treatment plans.
The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are also available as part of our online therapy service.
At TranceForm Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Overcome Your Problems with our CBT Course
Our 10 session course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is clinically proven to be effective across a range of different psychological problems.
Using an online learning platform, it is available with 2, 5 or 10 sessions of clinical support either face-to-face in the Wombourne offices, or using Zoom video facilities.
It can also be taken as a self help CBT course that will teach you the fundamental tools and techniques used throughout the mental health profession.